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Music Video Promo

Music Video Conventions

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Page 1: Music Video Conventions

Music Video Promo

Page 2: Music Video Conventions

Music Video


A music video is a short film or video that comes alongside with a piece of music/song. MTV (Music Television) began to use music videos in the 1980’s; since then they’re often used as an effective way of marketing/promoting either the band or their new album.

Music Videos use a variety of different styles including animation, live action, documentaries and more recently; non narrative approaches such as an abstract film. With all of these different filming techniques they’re able to fulfil the needs of different audiences, also; the styles may change depending on the genre of the style of music, an example of this would be RnB/Hip-Hop, these music videos often “Big up” the artist, they would stereotypically be wearing a lot of jewellery “Bling” , driving expensive cars and they’d have lots of women around them.

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Radiohead – Street Spirit (Fade Out)

The music video begins with an establishing shot, whilst using a overhead shot to encompass the car as well as the man (“Thom Yorke” – Radiohead)

The camera then pans around into a close-up of him after landing on the car.

An extreme close-up is used to show the emotion on his face, the story also begins to unravel.

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There are fast cuts, fading in and out whilst zoomed in on his face. Creating drama and different emotions, in particular anxiousness and despair.

After fading out, there is a mid shot of a boy, a chair is thrown across him in slow motion, whilst he’s taunting a dog. Depth of field is used effectively as he is the main focus, but the background is important to the music video, they’re in trailer park.

The final shot of the music video is of the main character jumping up in slow motion, symbolising his escape from this place, with his arms spread it looks like he is now free.

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The Album Leaf – Twenty two fourteen

The music video starts when the camera zooms into an extreme close up of a flow. It complements the song as it starts off slow and a lot of ambience effects are used.

An overhead long shot of a motorway is used when the song begins to pick up the pace, effects such as cuts/freezing and rewinding is used.

A Tracking shot is then used as they’re driving in a car going passed a suburban area, capturing different houses and vehicles, in a way it’s a bit of a point of view shot as we’re able to see what the person is looking at.

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Again, there is another overhead shot of a busy motorway as the song gets into full swing, the cars are going faster, there are faster cuts and flashes.

A high angle shot of a telecom tower is used when the song begins to mellow back down, the shot is also in black and white.

The final shot of the music video is what it started with, instead it zooms out of the tree and ends with a long shot of the trees.

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Sigur Ros - Sæglópur

The music video begins with an establishing shot, a mother taking her son out to the lake for a swim. The colours are dark and blue, an over the shoulder shot is used.

The child gets into the water, there is then a mid shot of him underneath the water as he begins to sink.

The camera pans around, whilst being at a high angle, the sun seeps through the water. Everything is still happening in slow motion as the song begins to build up.

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There is then a fade, and we are presented with a long shot of the boy swimming deeper and deeper. Artificial lighting is used so we are able to see the boy and what’s going on.

The tempo of the music increases, there is a close up of the boys feet getting tangled in seaweed, as he struggles the music's tempo increases even more, till eventually he gives up.

There is then a fade, and the mother emerges out of the water with the boy in her arms, the camera pans around her, she exits the water, whilst the slow motion effect is used, the camera follows her movement and zooms into the boys face.

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ConventionsMusic Videos

After viewing and reviewing several different music videos in the genre that I’m particularly interested, I’ve come to several conclusions about what are the conventions of music videos in this genre.

• Music videos range from 3-5 minutes, there is often a specific theme based around a specific emotion. There are also quite a few still shots of the surrounding area and certain objects/people.

• The most commonly used effect in these music videos is slow motion, it is often use to slow down something fast to exaggerate the action even more; An example of this is in the Radiohead – Street spirit (Fade out) music video when a chair is thrown across the scene.

• There are also lots of point of view shots, several music videos are only in the POV of the main character, this makes the video more life-like and audiences may be able to relate to it.

• Furthermore, the video will usually match the song, there will be different shots when the tempo of the music changes.

•Camerawork often has an impact on meaning. Movement, angle and shot distance all play a part in the representation of the artist/band (close-ups dominate)

•Editing is one of the most common forms is fast-cut montage, changing many of the images to make them really hard to grasp, which would encourage multiple viewing.